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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  April 14, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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>> i think he's using tactics by commanders in the field. >> from afghanistan to the standoff in the u.s. and north korea, tensions escalating as north korea is poised to test a nuke underground, potentially this weekend. the u.s. destroyer positioned bombers and sent a strike group to the peninsula, telling nbc news that the white house is prepared to launch that preemptive strike. should they become convinced that north korea is about to pull the trigger? >> i think we have to be careful here. we shouldn't engage in any precipitous action. there is a reason no recent president in u.s. history has pulled the trigger on north korea. >> our team of korncorresponden and analysts are are here to break down every single detail. we begin with kelly o'donnell who is in florida where the president is spending easter weekend.
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we also have kelly kobia who is in england. kelly, let's start with you. the president was saying how he gave total authorization to the military to do this strike. does that mean the president was not involved in dropping the biggest bomb we've ever dropped on afghanistan? >> reporter: well, katy, it remains unclear, because the president was asked that question when he was at an event for a separate matter, but he did respond, and he did not say that he personally authorized the strike or was in direct communication at the time the decision was made, but instead spoke more broadly about having given authorization to his military team to act when they felt it was appropriate, to use the tactics they saw working for that time and place, but the president was very careful while praising their success to not include himself in the direct decision making for this specific event, but more broadly for the strategy. judging from that, it would seem that he was not as involved and
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would not need to be. he's given his team more authority to act on their choosing when they see the events in the theater of war or the potential to act that he need not be on the phone at the same time. that would not be an unusual circumstance for a commander in chief, but it is -- we're seeing it in realtime how he's assuming this role of commander in chief with a series of military decisions now, and it seems like he might have had a little more distance from this particular one. katy? >> kelly, the white house is talking this a successful strike, but what are the standards for a successful airstrike? and so far does this meet the standards for a success? >> reporter: it's different for every strike, really. in this case what they were aiming to do was take out this isis compound in eastern afghanistan. it wasn't just a compound, it was also a series of tunnels underneath as well as a large contingent of fighters. what they wanted to do was send a signal, frankly, with this enormous 21,000-pound bomb and
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take out the entire target in one fell swoop. general nicholson, who is the commander there, the commanding general, he wanted to send a signal to isis to show them the full might of the u.s. military power that's there. the military has been striking isis and afghanistan for more than a year now. president obama gave them that authority in january of 2016, but this is the largest strike that we know about to date. so it wasn't just the fact that this gbu-43 was used there, this enormous bomb, but this was a large strike. and what seems to be successful in that they know they took out the compound, they know they took out a lot of isis fighters. we're just waiting to get the specific numbers on who it was, any high level fighters who might have been there at the time, katy. >> courtney, you're talking about the message that this sends, and i want to get kelly kube in on this. what is this aggression we're seeing from the president of the united states? >> reporter: katy, you're
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certainly seeing it in every newspaper, it's in every newscast, that dramatic video of the mother of all bombs being dropped on afghanistan. people are talking about it. it's a bit of a muted response, though, on an official level, in part because it's easter weekend already. today it a public holiday in the u.k. but look, the u.k. has very much a vested interest in what happens in afghanistan, a very cloe close partner in the united states with afghanistan. they still have a small number of troops to advise and assist the role to help the taliban there, so this will be playing very high on the agenda of british politicians, even if they're not speaking about it directly. european politicians as well. but i will say that this is sort of being played in the sense of, now he's done this. those are the kinds of headlines that are popping up on newspapers, that this is the latest in a string of sort of military actions on the part of
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the trump administration, and probably contributing to a sense of unease of what is next, what is the message to north korea? could that be the next hot spot? katy? >> on north korea, and of course that is something people are talking about a lot lately, especially after this nbc news report that go americans are preparing to strike preemptively if they need to. kelly o'donnell, the vice president is going overseas. he's got a 10-day asia trip. what is the white house hoping to get out of that? >> reporter: katy, as you know, this trip was planned far in advance, so sort of a confluence of events where there is this highly threat level in north korea and what we're seeing in other actions in other parts of the world. so the biggest thing for vice president pence is to have a direct connection with south korea, to go to seoul and explain what the trump administration's posture is to try to provide reassurance and partnership. a key ally in that part of the
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world, they are most vulnerable to any provocation or act of aggression from the north, and so the u.s. wants to reassure them that president trump and his team would not act without their knowledge, their cooperation, that kind of thing. so being able to deliver that message in person is certainly helpful given the moment in time we're at, but that wasn't the intention of the trip, it was much more broadly about the military and economic relationships for all of the countries on his multi-day -- multi-day and multi-country visit. the timing is helpful in terms of this perspective he can bring, and we'll follow that closely once the trip begins. for mike pence, it maybe is one of his first big moments to be the diplomat on the ground. he's done other international trips since taking office, but this one comes at such a pivotal time. indicate s katy? >> courtney, on this u.s. news
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reporting out there, they are telling us again that the u.s. is prepared to strike should north korea test a nuclear weapon. is there any indication they will be doing so this weekend as part of anniversary celebrations, or is there word they could be backing off? what is the status? >> reporter: so right now u.s. military and intelligence analysts and officials i've spoken with, they're pretty much operating off the assumption that kim jong-un, like his father, frankly, he frequently will do some sort of military show of force on anniversaries. now, this is the biggest anniversary, the biggest holiday in that country. so everyone assumes there will be something that will happen. in addition to that, for the past several weeks now, the military and intelligence officials have been seeing increased activity around one of the nuclear testing sites in north korea. they continue to see some mobile launching, missile launching systems that have been moving around the country, activity around those. so right now we just don't know what's going to happen, but everybody is prepared and ready in case we see something, katy.
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>> courtney kube, kelly o'donnell, kelly cubiella, thank you very much. we're with the senior fellow at the brookings institution and barry mccaffery, former gulf war division commander in the army. general, let's start with you. this is scary stuff, to put it mildly. what are the risks of even talking about a preemptive strike? >> well, you make a good point. we're not quite sure what this very young, very insecure, murd murderous kim jong-un gets his information. does he process it? does he think there's a real threat? there is a moderate uptick of military in the region. some b-52s on alert. i think there is zero likelihood of us conducting a preemptive conventional strike on north korean nukes. it would invite a general ground
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war, an artillery bombardment of the 25 million people in seoul. the south koreans will never sign up for it now, nor would the japanese. so i don't think it's going to happen. but it is a tricky situation. you know, 20 years from now, looking back on this, katy, we may decide that it was a mistake to not have conducted a preemptive strike on north korean nukes. but for now it's off the table, in my view. >> there's been a suggestion, michael, that the strikes in syria and afghanistan were meant to send a message specifically to north korea, that the americans are prepared to act if they need to. is there any indication whatsoever that those actions may -- or that message may have been heard in north korea? >> well, you always hope that maybe kim jong-un overestimates president trump's willingness to use force, but i agree 100% with general mccaffery, and i would add to the argument and say even if we wanted to strike north
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korean nukes, we don't know if most of them are. we know where the plutonium processing facilities are located wech located. we don't know where they enrich uranium for them. chances are the bomb, if there is one already being prepared for a test, is several hundred yards underground and we probably couldn't get at it with anything short of a nuclear strike ourselves. moreover, let's say we take out some of the facilities or some of the roads at the nuclear test site, they can just build alternative roads and do the test later or do it somewhere we're not expecting. so it's the combination of all the factors general mccaffery mentioned, plus the unlikely hood of any military effectiveness that i think guarantees there won't be a preemptive strike. >> general, what's the other option? >> i think in the long run, i've been pounding away at this. we've got to invest serious continuing resources in building
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a world class counter-ballistic missile defense in south korea, japan, u.s. navy at sea. we do have a strategic capability in fort greeley, alaska at the air force base. it does work but we talk about it failing all the time. we have agents out in the navy, pac 3 updated. we have to build a defense capability. katy, these people will have a sublaunch capability and an icbm capability certainly within the decade. the american people will be at peril. >> it seems like you're ruling out diplomacy, general. >> yeah, well, i think talking to them, making sure they don't starve to death and get desperate may actually have some impact. kim jong-un is probably uneasy about his obsiqious generals. he shot at his general with an
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anti-aircraft gun about not being attentive in a speech. he's probably in the saddle worrying about his own people. perhaps there is an opening for diplomacy, but we'll never get him to do away with his nuclear weapons. not going to happen. >> the other peeiece of this is china. there was an interesting piece in the "washington post" pointing out how china is suddenly leaning on north korea and it might be thanks to donald trump. they're doing that by a few editorials and some semi-official newspapers saying basically, to north korea, stop or we're going to severely limit your oil. what does it mean to have china suddenly take this position? >> well, let's hope it's sincere. picking up on where general mccaffery was just speaking, i would say the chances for diplomacy are quite mediocre unless and until north korea feels the economic squeeze from its major patron, which is
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china. and whether it's oil, whether it's coal, whether it's a number of kinds of economic interaction, if china starts genuinely constricting the two-way flow of those resources to north korea, that's when we get kim jong-un's attention. in the past, china has been willing to go along with a u.n. security council resolution or a mild retribution against something north korea has done, but in the five previous nuclear tests, in the dozens of ballistic missile tests, they have not kept on the squeeze very long. i don't know to what extent president trump has either scared president xi a little with his unpredictability, or whether he's forming a bond with president xi, or whether president xi has decided this has gone too far or if washington is seemingly putting the pressure on and they'll back off. all of that is to be determined. >> thank you both for your expertise today. >> thank you. that leaves us with today's microsoft pulse question. we're asking should the u.s.
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launch a preemptive military strike against north korea? 8% of you say nyes. the majority of you say no, don't do it. just days left in trump's first 100. is his desire to win shaping his presidency? and if the messaging changes, will it stick? at i'm thinking, just by looking in my eyes. but what they didn't know was that i had dry, itchy eyes. i used artificial tears from the moment i woke up... the moment i went to bed. so i finally decided to show my eyes some love,... ...some eyelove. eyelove means having a chat with your eye doctor about your dry eyes because if you're using artificial tears often and still have symptoms, it could be chronic dry eye. it's all about eyelove, my friends. everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around.
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campaign trail donald trump can work a crowd. he's like a chameleon, mirroring whichever audience he's in front of, and within the first 100 days in office set to wrap up just under two weeks, there is a sign of a major shift. the question is, as it always is, how long will it last? trump insiders promise this is more than a mood, it's a result of trump's instinctive desire to win after a series of dropped balls. here to talk about it, charlie sykes, and here in the studio with me, jack benningson with hillary clinton's 2016 campaign. whatever that means, can he win by changing policy, by changing his strategy? and do you believe it's something that will stick? >> well, you know, you're right, he is kind of like a chameleon. he runs to the sound of applause, which is significant. you can imagine that if there is a white house without steve
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bannon, without kellyanne conway, without some of the fringe characters, it would be a very different place. maybe you wouldn't have the huge mood swings, the erratic palace coups. on the other hand, donald trump is a 70-year-old man and how likely is he really to change? how many times have we gone through this conversation about now he's making the pivot, now it's the new donald trump, and that last how long? how many hours before the next tweet? clearly there is a shift in emphasis right now where he's moving toward a more conventional approach, and if he's seeing that he's getting kudos for that, that's going to reinforce that inclination. >> we talk about it a lot. the definition of crazy, joel, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. is that what's going on with donald trump? is there any reason to believe that he's suddenly going to moderate himself and become, quote, unquote, presidential? >> i don't know about
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presidential. i don't think that's his personality. it really requires restraint, introspection, huhumility. he doesn't have that at age 70. he's losing the ratings. recent polls have shown this. he's 89 days in. it's largely because of independents and moderate voters. there's overlap but he has to find a way to win them. if he's going to defund planned parenthood as he did on thursday, thaet nt's not going help him. the mixed messages are a sign of chaos and thaet nt's not going dig him out of hole. >> t's a belief that if he moves away from his conservative base, that he will lose his
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conservative base, that his voters will turn away from him. i don't buy that, and neither does jared peters of the "new york times." he wrote today, trump's base knew all along they were not voting for a man of concrete convictions, and they're seeing the preference for the transactional over the dogmatic as a quality they want in a chief executive. is that wrong? >> no, but the base he needs to actually win elections is going to be completely satisfied with him. look, here's a president and a candidate that paints with really broad brushes. he doesn't sweat the details, his base doesn't sweat the details. as long as he does some of these major symbolic moves, they're going to stick with him. plus you have the, you know, the cult of personality supporters that are going to follow him. i have to say there are a lot of
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mainstream republicans who are kind of at the moment tentatively breathe ag siing a relief that maybe he'll be more like a president bush or president rubio or president cruz than they thought would happen, but i don't see outside the twitters fear that he's going to lose control of his base. >> his favored level is around 39%. is that both his floor and ceiling here? >> it's probably his floor. to charlie's point, that's probably what his irreversible base is, if you will. we saw those numbers go down after he started tweeting about president obama, falsely accusing him of wiretapping him. they've gone down and have been stuck there since then. as for his base, he's got a pretty loyal base, and i think even in the election, we saw some swing voters who would say that he's really not going to do everything he says. he really doesn't mean it, but that still doesn't get him to 50 or 51%. he's got work to do to win over
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those folks. >> you cannot apply traditional washington politics or rules to donald trump, and they didn't apply during the campaign and they certainly are not going to apply suddenly now that he's the president. charlie sykes, joel benningson, thank you for being here. a man was arrested accused of sendiwriting a manifesto to president. where police found him, next. there are over 100 million pieces of dna in every sample. with the microsoft cloud, we can analyze the data faster than ever before. if we can detect new viruses before they spread, we may someday prevent outbreaks before they begin. remember when you said men are supeyeah...ivers? yeah, then how'd i get this... safe driving bonus check? ...only allstate sends you a bonus check
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i'm katy tur in new york with a look at your top five headlines. we begin in afghanistan. new video shows the mother of all bombs on the moment of impact. the u.s. strike targeted isis tunnels in nangarhar province. the administration now says 36 fighters were killed. that's where vice president mike pence heads next. it's his first trip to the region since taking office. pence will visit tokyo, seoul, jakarta, sydney and pearl harbor. the focus of the trip? north korea. they wrote a letter to passengers after dr. david dao was removed from that chicago flight saying you're safety is
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our highest priority. but the company is still making news and it is not good. this time for a mid-flight scorpion sting. yes, you heard that right. a passenger heading for houston said the arachnid fell from an overhead bin and struck him on the head. the elite boarding school says sexual abuse incidents date back to the '60s. the details were made public yesterday and the investigati is still ongoing. as of now, the report says none of theteachers' actions were ever reported to police. a beating that led to the dismissal of two officers, 21-year-old demetrius hollandho who you're seeing in that video, spoke ex cleclusively to gabe gutierrez. >> he told me to step out of the way. i stepped out of the kwar my hand up, and when i had my hands up, he punched me in the face.
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>> it is said the force used was unnecessary and excessive. accused of stealing a cache of weapons and mailing a manifesto to president trump is now in police custody. jake jakubowski is accused of stealing a dozen firearms from a gun shop after mailing a 120-page government manifesto to the white house. the letter threatened to launch attacks with the stolen firearms. nbc's ron mott is in wisconsin where that arrest unfolded today. ron? >> reporter: katy, good afternoon to you. here in jamesville, we're getting set up with a news conference that will give us some detail of how this all went down, this takedown. we know it started last night. police got a call about 9:30 local time saying there was someone matching his description on private property camped out and would not leave, so authorities thought that was a
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pretty good tip. they got a tactical team in place and set a perimeter, and shortly before daybreak they made contact with him and took him into custody without any sort of incident. we do know if weapons were recovered. we don't know if all the weapons that were allegedly stolen by jakubowski were recovered as of this morning. we're told he's in front of a judge in madison county, so he possibly will face federal charges in addition to the state charges perhaps in connection with that burglary down at the gun store. we do know he is in custody. there were a lot of tense moments here over the past ten days, katy, while they were looking for him. schools closed, at least one church service. we spoke with a service that was about to get under way in the jaynesville area. they're very relieved they can go forth with their easter sf z services in the next few days without that man lurking out
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there. his vehicle was found burned out after this burglary. he made it all the way two and a half hours away from here, so that will be a question we'll ask investigators, if he had some help, if they believe he's had some help in eluding police for the past 10 days. katy? >> we'll keep an eye on that. ron mott in wisconsin. thank you very much. the emerging influence is in the west wing. if steve bannon falls, who will rise? could it be the other steve? ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around.
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i'm raph. my name is anne. i'm one of the real live attorneys you can talk to through legalzoom. don't let unanswered legal questions hold you up, because we're here, we're here, and we've got your back. legalzoom. legal help is here. the shine seems to be
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wearing off the penny for president trump as we get signs that he's moving away from anti-globalist steve bannon and towards some of thmore conventional factions in the white house. former trump campaign adviser roger stone tells nbc's chuck todd bannon's shutout is partly his own fault. >> first of all, i think steve made an error by not spending any of his political capital to bring other trumpites and non-globalists into the white house circle. >> he didn't do a good job staffing the white house? reince priebus did? >> yes. and now he's alone and surrounded. >> bannon falls out of favor. who rises up? here to discuss that, phil with the "washington post." phil, i caught you laughing about my penny read just then. >> that was a great line, katy. >> i'm going to let you off. donald trump has two steves, he's got steve bannon and he's got steve miller. if steve bannon looefeaves, doe
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steve miller rise? >> perhaps. steve miller is very much in sync with steve bannon, but he's been very careful to cultivate other relationships. he's close with jared kushner as well, he's close with trump himself, and a lot of lawmakers have been quick to remind me and my colleagues, look, steven miller was riding around on a plane with donald trump for months helping him shape his ideas, helping him communicate his ideas long before steve bannon even joined the campaign. the implication there being, of course, if steve bannon were to walk out the door, miller would very much be here to stay and he's on firm ground. >> learning his voice, he came on very early on. he came directly from jeff sessions' office. he was the director of communications for jeff sessions, and his idealogies are very much in line with donald trump the nationalist which is what donald trump organically stated and/ organically went wih during the campaign. there are two other names which are interesting, and they're not voices we heard much during
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donald trump's run-up, and at least not in the beginning of part of this white house. they're gary cohen and dina powell. my sources say dina powell specifically because of ivanka have grown very close during the transition and that she is gaining power because of ivanka's affections. tell me about the two of them and what it would mean to have them amass more per within the west wing. >>o we'll start with gary cohen. he's a former executive at goldman sachs. he's actually a registered democrat, although he likes to tell people in meetings he's not a democrat and he's not a republican, he's just trying to help trump make deals and get things done. trump likes him a lot. he sees him as a peer, he's independently wealthy, he's a businessman. dina powell has a different background. she worked in the george bush administration. she considers hers a conservative republican, but in temperament, she's much more moderate. she is rising very fast. she's close to ivanka and jared.
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she is also the deputy security adviser and she was in that photograph last week of the advisers and the bunker there advising president trump on the bombing in syria. >> this isn't just palace intrigue and it's not just gossip. these are two competing power centers in the white house. leon pinette anetta was on tell about the power centers. >> i think it provides chaos in the staff as to who is really in charge, and i think it would be important to establish a strong chief of staff with the authority and with the discipline to run a tight staff. every president needs to have that. >> does the chaos leave if steve bannon leaves, and does it get mitigated if somebody replaces reince priebus? >> i don't know. if steve bannon were to leave, and by the way, there is no sign he's walking out the door today. he may be there for a long time. but if he were to leave, i don't think the chaos would disappear.
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i think donald trump likes to manage this way. he likes to have competing spirits of influence, he likes different advisers having his ear and offering different ideas so trump himself can decide which way to go. it's, as you know, how he ran his businesses. it's certainly how he ran his campaign. there was sort of different leadership every few months on that campaign, and it seems to be how he likes to run the white house. >> phil, what do you have your eye on this easter weekend? >> i have my eye on north korea, and we'll have to see what happens over there and the extent to which president trump weighs in at all. he's down at mar-a-lago all alone, effectively for the weekend. he's senior staffer staying behind in washington and getting some time with their own families, but certainly there could be a provocation around the world, and that would be a big moment for this white house. >> pay attention to twitter. phil rucker, "washington post." appreciate your time. >> bye, katy. let's check the microsoft polls question. we've been asking, should the u.s. launch a preemptive strike
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against north korea? 90% of you say no, do not do it. there's still time to cast your votes at after the break we'll take you live to little rock where they are doing all they can to conduct death row executions. that with david echols, next. had helped the pig with homeowners insurance. he had replacement cost coverage, so his house was rebuilt, good as new. the big bad wolf now has a job on a wind farm. call geico and see how easy it is to switch and save on homeowners insurance. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one
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we are back with a live look at the grounds of the state capitol in little rock, arkansas. a rally is underway calling on state officials to halt their plan to begin executing seven death row inmates in rapid succession beginning on monday. david echols of the so-called west memphis 3. echols served 23 years on death row before he was released. he maintains he was innocent. i spoke to echols exclusively today and we'll have that interview for you in a moment, but first how we got here. today's protest was sparked by arkansas's plan next week to carry out a series of double executions. in all, seven inmates are set to die by lethal injection using
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that same drug used in 2013. the first round of lethal injections is scheduled for monday unless a court or governor enter veeintervenes. nbc's jacob ras ccon is in litt rock and joins me by phone. what have protestors been telling you? >> reporter: there's been more and more protestors coming here. we lost our signal so i'm on the phone with you instead. i have one man who came down from utah. his name is randy. randy's brother ronnie was executed in utah recently by firing squad. i just to want ask you, randy, why you felt it was important to come all the way down here for this rally. >> well, i came down here to lend support in the abolition of the death penalty. what they're doing here in arkansas is just crazy. they have an assembly line execution going on and it's just not right. i don't understand why we kill people who kill people telling them killing is wrong, executed
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my brother on january 18 by firing squ and it's a terrible thing for the family to have to take. we didn't do anything wrong, but we feel like we're part of the state-sanctioned murder. >> thank you, randy. that's just one example of 400 people who have shown up and who will speak here. after their done speaking, they'll hand off 150 signatures or so of others who agree with them that we should end the death penalty. it's worth noting that the governor has said, look, it's my obligation as governor to fulfill the law and kill people who have been on death row for 25, 26, 27 years who have exhausted all their legal options. i'll end by saying there is right now before a federal judge the option to halt these executions because of that drug that you mentioned. if that happened, if he were to decide let's stop this because we don't want to use this drug,
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it would almost certainly appeal to the eighth court of appeals who may come down very quickly with a final decision before monday night execution is scheduled. indica katy? >> those executions are coming in rapid succession because that drug expires in a few days. david he c in little rock, thank you very much. david echols was just 18 years old when he and his two friends were accused of a brutal homicide. echols was the only one sentenced to death. the others were handed life sentences. all of their convictions, though, were handed down without dna evidence. for nearly 20 years echols remained on death row, fighting the entire time for his release, even marrying a woman who moved to arkansas to fight alongside with him. then in 2011, the so-called memphis 3 were moved in an
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alfred plea allowing them to maintain their innocence while the state still maintained their guilt. i began the conversation by asking him how he reacted to the news of next week's competeexec >> i heard initially they wanted to execute eight people, now it's down to seven. these guys to me aren't just stories i read about in the newspaper or, you know, saw on tv, these are people that i lived with, some of them for almost 20 years, for 18 years, people that i knew on a daily basis. so whenever i heard they were going to execute them, it was absolutely horrific, just because these were human beings to me. these weren't -- when you just focus on the crimes themselves that these men were convicted of, you start to think of them as monsters. but when you know them on a
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personal basis, you see more nuance to it. and honestly, one of the reasons it was so horrifying to me is because i knew that if i wouldn't have gotten out, if i weren't out right now, if it wasn't for the dna testing, i would probably be on this list of people they're about to execute. >> what about don davis, specifically? >> don davis. prison is a different world. it's nothing like out here. you don't develop friendships in prison the way you do in the outside world. in prison the best thing you can possibly hope for is someone you come to an understanding with that no matter what happens, no matter what these people do to us, i'll watch your back, you watch my back no matter what. don davis for me was that person. there were times i was starved and don davis smuggled me food. if you give another inmate food, that's an automatic 30 days in
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the hole for you. he was willing to accept that, willing to take that to make sure i had something to eat. there were times whenever i was having horrific things done to me by prison guards, and he was the one who that this isn't going on in a vacuum and he would do whatever he could to bring light to that situation. the people from the roman catholic church who would bring food to the death rowinmates. he would say, they're killing this guy. would you please go to the warden? if not for him interceding on my behalf, so many types will while i was in prison, i would have never even lived until the dna testing was done which eventually got me out. >> do you believe these seven men are innocent? >> not all of them. no. they're not all innocent. but that doesn't necessarily mean they should be executed. i'm not comfortable with living under the rule of a government that awards the right to execute its own citizens to.
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me that is horrific in itself. when you look at the specifics of the cases, the specifics of these people, you're looking at people who are, a lot of them are extremely mentally ill. for example, one of them, one of the first to be executed was a man namtd bruce ward. he used to watch the news for hours at a time. he wasn't watching the news. he would watch the time and the temperature they put on the screen because he was convinced they were sending him secret messages. another one, he filed paperwork on me at one point with the prison saying my mother was breaking into the prison and raping him in an attempt to get him pregnant. he believed this with his whole heart. to him that was reat. you're talking about people who don't understand what it means, that they're about to be executed. this is the level of intellect of the people they're putting to death. winter of the men i believe wholeheartedly was innocent, a man named jason mcgee.
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he was the eighth person they were going on execute. he got a stay of execution. so apart from the innocence, you're still looking at people that should probably be in mental hospitals somewhere, receiving some sort of treatment, as opposed to being killed by the state. these are convicted killers. we saw the daughter of davis' victim, the man that you say saved your life speaking out about the execution. just, let's take a listen to this. >> he is the last person that saw her, you know, a her most vulnerable time. we've suffered long enough. and my mom really suffered. >> what do you say to those family members who believe that they have suffered enough and it's time. >> that i completely and absolutely understand what you're saying 100%. even listening to what you just played for me. it is incredibly hard to hear. that you hear the pain in their voices. you hear the misery. and believe me i've known pain
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in my life and it is not something i like the hear someone else experiencing. but at the same time, i would ask them to, as hard as it is, completely, believe me, i understand how much it hurts. but as hard as it is, maybe to look at it from a logical and rational, intellectual viewpoint instead of just letting the rush of emotion get to you. i don't believe that can i go another person can ever be called justice. i don't think that's justice. but we know lots of people who have had family members murdered, after the person who murdered the family members, they said they felt like it would bring them some sort of closure. that it would be over and they said it didn't work. it didn't bring that family member back. it just created another vacuum for another family. that's all i would say.
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i understand what you're going through but i'm asking that you please least may be look at i from an intellectual and sxll moral viewpoint instead of just the need for vengeance. which i understand and i don't fault you for. >> thank you for your time and thank you for sharing some of your personal story with us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> just a note, damian echols was wearing those sunglasses because he is extraordinarily sensitive to light after being in prison for more than ten years d not seeing sunlight for many yes. moving on. let's take a look at our microsoft pulse question. should the u.s. launch preemptive strike against north korea is so far 89% of you say no. thank you for voting. umbrellas!!
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i'm going to be working for you. i'm not going to play golf. >> he played more golf last year than tiger woods. >> i wouldn't leave the house, these little trips. they cost you a fortune. >> one more thing before we let you go. tied to those remarks last year when then candidate trump slammed president obama's golf outings. just 13 weekends in and the his predecessor's eight-year ed
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average. this will be the president's seventh weekend at his mar-a-lago resort costing taxpayers another $3 million for travel and security. as we reported, palm beach county where mar-a-lago is spends over $60,000 per day the president is in town. and while trump is aware of the strain, it is apparently not enough to influence a cut back in these weekend trips for a president who ran on a promise of stopping wasteful spending. that wraps things up for me this hour. i am katy tur. you can follow me on both facebook and twitter. do you see that? throws my handles. kate snow picks this up now. happy good friday. thank you for being with us. tensions running high over what could happen on the korean peninsula after a stark warning from the u.s. intelligence, from the u.s., rather, telling nbc news the u.s. is prepared to
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launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against north korea if they think a nuclear test sis imminent. china is warning of storm clouds gathering. and with so much news this week on the foreign policy front, you might have missed some things. from new information on the russia investigation to president trump undoing a rule that protected planned parenthood funding. we'll break all that down. plus one week after the u.s. spent tomahawk missiles into syria, an extraordinary new documentary on how the world got here. it is called hell on earth. the renowned film make letters join me later this hour. i have seen this film. you do not want to see this. we again with what leon panetta just called a tinder box. my colleague kelly o'donnell has the